Saturday, July 01, 2006
I'd Rather Be On The Links Links
Comedians and talk-show hosts everywhere mourn.
If Jerry Springer was a lesser actor.
Obviously he'd been there for a while.
Neuhaus on immigration. - I agree the issue seemed to come from nowhere and it sems to be almost purely emotional. Nothing can happen until reason takes hold.
John Mark Reynolds on my favorite city in the UK!
I don't want to know.
Creepy Crawlie ALERT!
Creepie Crawlie ALERT II!
Sick or sin? That is the question.
Wise men say, "Only Fools Rush In."
Related Tags: college, university, Oil-for-Food, Rossett, immigration, joke, humor
That Superman was a Methodist? Sombody did a lot of work to figure out the religious affiliations of numerous comic book characters. (HT: Rebecca)
I have not bloggeed about the role of religion in comics because it is an incredibly complicated subject, and the comics get it wrong so often, or in order to avoid controversy they stick to the clearly mythological elements of religion. However, reading recently C.S. Lewis fantasy and his invocation of figures like Merlin in That Hideous Strength, I wonder if there is not a role for genuine religion in the comics.
At any rate this is a great resource. If you are interested in more or a discussion, let me know, we'll see what we can do.
Related Tags: superheroes, religion, comics, comic books, comic art
Friday, June 30, 2006
The Death of Leadership?
Managers and management make organizations work. They may even set policy and direction, but such policy and direction is aimed at preservation of the status quo, not at anything new.
A leader on the other hand takes people in new directions. That new direction may be in the how of the organization, not necessarily the what, but it is a new direction nonetheless. A leader inspires, cajoles, and otherwise convinces people about the new direction. Leaders have ideas and sell them. Thus leaders may also work to keep old ideas alive in the face of the onslaught of new, less worthy ideas. The key is leaders convince, manager only operate.
If I may be so bold, I think there is a dirth of leadership these days. The American Episcopal church is dying one congregation at a time. And my beloved PC(USA) is starting down the same road.
These churches are being managed, but no one is leading. No one is willing to "stand in the gap" (sorry Nehemiah) and proclaim, nay, convince people that these directions are ill-advised.
Managing these organizations means that they are willing to bend to accomodate stuff like homosexual ordination and alternate formulations of the Trinity for the sake of holding the organization together. These things happen because schism appears to be the only alternative.
But you see a leader, a real true leader, would find a way, some way to unite the majority of people behind the right idea. A leader would not force schism, he would find a way to win over the opposition.
Sometimes I think we confuse leadership with victory. Leadership is not about winning - it's about convincing. Winning is a personal thing, convincing is a group thing. Winning is about glory, leading is about uplifting.
There are leaders in the church, but they feel stifled by the managers. So, they leave, they do their own thing and get caught in the glory trap. Imagine a Rick Warren inside the Presbyterian or Episcopal church with the guidance and wisodm they could impart to him.
I am praying for leadership right now. I am praying that leadership would emerge in the great institutional churches. I am praying that existing Christian leadership would learn the value of exercising that gift in the preservation of wisdom.
Related Tags: church, leadership, Christianity, denomination, wisdom
Meg is one of those Christians evangelicals love when they walk the aisle and testify of an emotional conversion. Thousands of Megs, however, will never go that route. They are living out another story, and they need to be treated with wisdom and respect. Our programs, our pretenses of spiritual depth and our personality cults are not for everyone. For one young woman, it is in the ancient church, errant and hated as it is, taken root in the mountains, that she has found a home.Makes me think about Jesus supping with the tax collector. Rob takes another angle.
I wish her well, and more of Christ along the way.
If it was college basketball, this would make sense.
Joe Carter points out that calling yourself 'Christian' does not make it so.
I think Hugh is ticked.
Jollyblogger balances the old with the new. Things change, the application of theology changes, but does theology itself? Isn't the problem really that we use the historical understandings as a cudgle?
Mohler makes a heck of a point. Homsexuality is a sin, but that is all it is. Thus homosexuals are sinners, just like the rest of us. The problem is not their sin - it is the attempts by many to make us say it is not a sin. Grace loves the sinner, but does not change the definition of sin.
This is an absolute hoot. (Profanity warning...)
Yee-Haw! Where's that "It's Bush's Fault" headline now?
The Anglicans take a tip from us Presbyterians - a bad one. A denomination has to mean something or its just another institution that employees people for no apparent reason. Speaking of which - these sound like good ideas to me.
Smart move. It is possible to love and exclude at the same time. Think about it - is the love expressed in the invitation or the open door?
Quick Honey - Get the binoculars!
This headline casued my head to explode as curiosity and repulsion battled to a standstill.
Why Hugh Hewitt is so right and we need 60 Republican Senators. Sixty real Republican Senators I might add.
Scotwise' version of Friday humor. "What's your religion?" is so funny because it is so true, just a bit too true.
Related Tags: theological differences, grace, denomination, PC(USA), schism, blogging, homosexuality, pro-life, joke, humor
"Of course, my son," Jesus said, and when he touched the man's back, he felt relief for the first time in years.
The second man, who wore very thick glasses and had a hard time reading and driving, asked if Jesus could do anything about his eyesight.
Jesus smiled, removed the man's glasses and tossed them in the lake. When they hit the water, the man's eyes cleared, and he could see everything distinctly.
When Jesus turned to heal the union worker, the guy put his hands up and cried, defensively, "DON'T TOUCH ME! I'm on long-term disability!"
Related Tags: Friday Humor, joke, humor
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Links With Some Extended Comment (Because Life Is Slowly Returning To Normal - For A Minute Or Two)
A self-negating headline, meaning nothing.
Actually, I do know. But then I'm a geek that way. BTW, you know a movie is BIG-TIME when it gets reviewed on Space.com. None of the other superhero movies were - does this make Superman uber-geekish?
Mohler's right, this is scary. That man would try to usurp the power of God is the very definition of sin, that they would name it so in print is horrifying. This is what happens when we don't teach people they are sinners, and what that means. Maybe I ought to teach a Sunday school class on sin?
This is not news - there is always something fishy in Kentucky. Any self-respecting Hoosier knows that.
I'm watching you!
Dadmanly takes on the "Times Two" catastrophe. I think Joe Carter struck at the root of this issue very well. News requires context. In this case, the context is the GWOT, the enemy, and saving lives, a context both Times completely ignored. It would be easy to say this is the result of TV, with its short-attention-span-creating way of doing business, but what about education with its lazy "we-can't-get-the-kids-to-pay-attention-this-is-what-you-need-to-know-for-the-test" approach? Shouldn't education be providing the counterweight to TV? Shouldn't schools be building context, or at least teaching kids how to build their own context?
You can never win in LA.
Barak Obama moves to the center and tries to appeal to evangelicals - a clear sign he is thinking about national office. Hotline has a complete quote. "It won't work" is the essence of this RCP Blog post. What I hate most about this is evangelicals are not a lock-step voting block. At least they shouldn't be. If the politicos try to turn us into one, many will succumb and we will end up being defined politically instead of religiously. Somehow there has to be a way to adjust the rhetoric on both the political and religious side here.
Anybody heard of the point of diminishing return?
Can't we just celebrate something? Must there always be a dark side?
I also have to say I think the Holy Spirit transmits person-to-person, not really over wires or RF waves.
Was that dill?
Related Tags: science, redistricting, Supreme Court, Superman, secrets, journalism, evanglicals, voting block, joke, humor
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
No Time At All Links
Serious food for thought.
Dem 60's nostalgia becomes explicit. Guess again Howard, the 60's were about a lot more than the war.
Cool find, but is every vaguely circular pile of rocks more than 1000 years old Stonehnge? Oh, and by the way, they are not even sure Stonhenge was an observatory. Astronomical alignment does NOT equal observatory.
John reminds not to confuse fact with fiction, Now - Can I please enjoy the movie?
Related Tags: royalty, archeology, politics, criticism, Superman
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Tuesday Too Busy Links
Because doing it in turmoil never works well.
I'm am sure many in the country would join my wife in saying the key word here is "display" - meaning captivity, in a cage, away from me.
This is bothersome - can't think that way. Shouldn't we be building disciples which is for, you know, eternity.
Read between the lines. An attempt to invoke the Endangered Species Act on behalf of commerce? That bit of law is horrific now - this could make it revolution producing.
My wife's favorite flower in my favorite color. - Kewl.
Science is getting way too big for its britches - no longer satisfied with calling people of faith irrational and stupid, now people that care about politics are too.
O come on! - We saw them int he 60's - remember the songe "Age of Aquarius"?
Related Tags: homosexulaity, morality, science, church, snakes, Endangered Species Act, irises, joke, humor
The Terrorbuster Saga
Read this story from the beginning at The Terrorbuster Saga Blog
The Kiev airport is like a lot of other airports in the world ? one runway with one side developed for commercial use and the other for military. As 'Rob Self' sat in a departure lounge he noted a bunch of people running, with weapons, towards a hangar on the military side of the airport. There was obviously a lot of activity, even obvious gunfire, but the distance and the soundproofing made it an eerie sight. He heard nothing.
Then, all at once the air thundered, as if someone turned off the mute function, but only for the bass range. Actually, he felt more than heard it ? it started as a rumbling in his feet, but eventually the door exploded off the hangar. A shock wave caused the passenger terminal windows to rattle, not to mention the shrapnel that flew everywhere.
As the dust cleared Carter saw the source of the activity. It was the machine/man monster from underneath Sophiaskia. It was severely mangled, but it remained immensely powerful. It appeared to be flailing in blind rage.
When all this started, Carter had been checking his email, using something that looked to the world like a Palm Pilot, but was, of course, infinitely more capable than even the most sophisticated models available on the market. The device's automatic wireless connection had gone crazy.
Then it dawned on Carter: operating a machine as complex as that raging monster outside would take far more computer power than could be put on board. It could not be self-contained. It must have been using a wireless signal to tap all available computing resources. Carter tried to tap into the network it had assembled.
As soon as he did, the thing noticed and started to make a beeline across the tarmac and runway toward the passenger terminal. Soon an IM message popped up on Carter's handheld. "Ilya was my brother, and now I have you."
Smaller aircraft parked on the tarmac were thrown aside like so many candy wrappers. Just as the thing stepped onto the runway, it was hit by a plane on its take-off roll. The plane erupted into flame. The mechano-beast staggered, but not for long. People in the passenger terminal fled in panic, in virtually every direction.
Carter was just standing there, punching along on his hand held. The military personnel were trailing behind the monster in its stalk. They had brought out heavier weapons, but it was impervious to grenades and hand-launched rocket fire. Tanks could be seen rolling on the periphery, but they were old models. They had to maneuver into position first and then dial in their target. There was no way they could get the job done in time.
As the mechano-beast moved past the plane parked at the gate where Carter was about to board, it ripped the wings off and kicked out the landing gear. One of the gear hit a fuel truck parked nearby and an explosion ensued. The windows turned immediately black with the soot.
A few seconds later a mechanical arm crashed through the window shattering it into a million pieces. At that same instant, Carter hit the "execute" button on his handheld and the mechano-beast stopped dead in its tracks. He quickly put away his handheld, brushed the broken glass off himself and joined the panicked public. It had taken a few minutes, but he had shut down every wireless router within connecting range, robbing the thing of its needed computing power. He just hoped "the powers that be" could figure out how this thing worked before it moved again. He tried to salt the various networks with as many useful clues as possible.
Related Tags: fiction, comic books, story, terrorism, terrorbuster, GWOT
Monday, June 26, 2006
Monday Very Quick Links
Now, If only you could surf them, then you'd have something.
Consumers are willing to pay up to an extra £108 ($197) for a PC containing fewer chemicals, a survey has found.......It will cost a lot more than that to get a computer made of nothing.
The coolest birthday party in history.
Because somehow, this just seems like one of those things you HAVE to link to.
For crying out loud - WHY?
It's always good to know there are bigger geeks in the world.
Sometimes, the real reason behind an "environmental" trend becomes all too apparent. Not that I have anything whatsoever against ethanol as a fuel, I just want you all to know when you have been "marketed" and when there is a real issue.
It's good to know we aren't the only ones with moralistic numbskulls.
Related Tags: environmental, First Amendment, gravity, chemicals, blogging, joke, humor
Sunday, June 25, 2006
What kind of check did you right today?
Where Alfred Hitchcock got the idea.
I prefer something a bit more historical (no less than 6000 years) and substantial as a basis for my conscience.
Chemical WEAPONS! - Not "Chemicals". It was an genocidal act not an environmental disaster. Sheesh!
NO! - personal decisions are responsible for obesity - "sprawl" is just a way to excape personal responsibility.
Related Tags: Superman, chemical weapons, birds, tithing, conscience, sprawl, obesity
Sermons and Lessons
PROFESSOR of interpretation of the New Testament in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1895-1934; born near Chatham, Va., November 6, 1863; graduated from Wake Forest College, N. C., 1885; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, 1888; assistant instructor of New Testament interpretation, 1888; professor Biblical introduction, 1892; author of "Life and Letters of John A. Broadus," "Syllabus for New Testament Greek Syntax," "Syllabus for New Testament Study," "Teaching of Jesus Concerning God the Father," "The Students? Chronological New Testament," "Keywords to the Teaching of Jesus," "Epochs in the Life of Jesus," "A Short Grammar in Greek New Testament," "Epochs in the Life of Paul."
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit. - 2 Cor. 3:18The verse chosen for discussion is the culmination of the argument in 2 Cor. 3:4-18. Paul is engaged in setting forth the glories of the Christian ministry. He had been in the depths of despondency while at Troas over not seeing Titus (2 Cor. 2:12). In Macedonia, however, he had met Titus who greatly refreshed his spirit by the news from Corinth. As a result Paul's spirit rebounds to its normal buoyancy, if it does not go higher than normal (2 Cor. 2:14). Under the spell of this new enthusiasm Paul discourses at length concerning the dignity and glory of the Christian ministry. He casts no reflection upon the ministry of the Old Testament dispensation. That was glorious indeed. But the moon gets its light from the sun and fades before it. In the verse here under discussion he broadens the treatment to include all Christians ("we all") and touches the fundamental thing -Christian experience, the believer's relation to Jesus.
The verb "transformed" is the heart of the verse and it is in the present tense. It is therefore a process that is here described. The metamorphosis, to use the exact Greek word, is not yet complete. The work has been begun, the end is still ahead. It is noticeable that Paul here, as often, appeals to the common experience of believers in Christ. His own theology was grounded securely - his own great experience of grace. The subject that naturally presents itself, therefore, is the transforming power of the vision of Christ. The text will respond to several questions:
Into what are we transformed? The answer is, "into the same image." Whose image? It is clearly the Lord's image whose glory the disciple beholds. By "the Lord" here, as is usual with Paul, is meant the Lord Jesus. The Christian then is represented as transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus. One cannot doubt that the apostle has in mind the creation of man's spirit in the likeness of God. That likeness has been greatly marred by sin, but not wholly destroyed. Jesus has come to restore the image of God in men.
The implication is that the image needs restoration. A new artist must work upon the old picture, now so badly injured. If it be replied that evolution has overthrown this doctrine of man's likeness to God and fall from that likeness, one may reply that this is not so certain. I am perfectly willing to assume evolution as a working hypothesis or as a fact. I am sure that God made the universe in His own way. It is too late now for our theories to alter the facts. If God brought the bodies of men up by way of monkeys there is nothing in that process to cause protest on the part of a believer in God. Besides it is entirely possible to have a lapse into sin after a rise from a lower state. The spirit of man is all that is claimed to have been made in the likeness of God. It is not shown to be impossible for that likeness to come at a high stage in the process of evolution. Indeed evolution is in perfect harmony with that conception. Sin comes with moral consciousness. Sin is a fact. When did it enter the life of man? Certainly not before moral consciousness. There is plenty of room for the "fall."
It is a fact today that many men and women do undergo the transformation claimed by Paul as a reality. Christianity makes the appeal to life. It is life. The change took place in Paul's day and takes place now. Men are down. They can be lifted up. Christ lays hold of the spirit of man, which was made in the image of God, and restores the likeness to the Father. Christianity today stands the scientific test of experience. The great doctrine of grace is in perfect accord with modern knowledge. Life is always open to this appeal. Paul was certain that ha and others were being transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus and so of God.
How is the transformation wrought? Here the answer is twofold: "Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord," and "from the Lord the Spirit." There are two factors in the great change, the divine and the human. There is some doubt as to the exact meaning in both of these phrases, but the central fact remains true in each instance. It is not clear whether we should translate "Spirit of the Lord," or "the Lord the Spirit." The order of words in the Greek favors the American Revision. In this sense the deity of the Holy Spirit is asserted and, in a sense, almost identity with Jesus. But the point of importance is that the great change is wrought by the Holy Spirit. This is the basal doctrine of regeneration. The new birth is the truth here firmly set forth. Evidently Paul held the same opinion as the Lord Jesus on this matter. He had no sympathy with the common fads "of the time which denied the reality of sin and the need of such a radical course." The modern "Christian Science" has some of its roots in the Oriental cults of Paul's time. The term "mind-cure" has one element of truth at least. Some minds certainly need a "cure." But it is very difficult for a diseased mind to cure itself. The other point here is found in the word "beholding." This word is ambiguous and may mean "reflecting." But even so, it reflects what falls upon it. This is the human side of the matter. The heart of the believer must turn to the Lord. The sinner looks upon Christ. As he beholds the glory of the Lord the change is wrought. The Lord draws him away from himself. He gazes upon the majesty of Christ. Thus no mere human expedients will satisfy the conditions. Reformation will come, of course, but mere reformation will not cause this inward change. Ascetic practices will not necessarily lead to the life of piety. Self-torture may lead away from Christ. Hence no church, no ordinance, no priest, no creed must come between the soul and his Lord. It is the vision of Christ Himself in His glory that brings the wondrous transformation. This is the Pauline principle. All Christians are priests in this holy place. The soul of man finds God in Christ, is won back to God by the sight of Christ, is made like God by communion with Christ, who is God. This is the fellowship with the eternal God that saves the soul from sin.
Is the change instantaneous or gradual? It is both. It is an act and a process. Regeneration is an act, sanctification is a process. Both are in view here. "Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" we "are transformed." The new life springs up in the heart that looks upon Jesus as Lord and Savior. The new life grows as the soul continues to look upon Jesus. He is the bread of life, the true manna from heaven. There must be constant fellowship with Jesus if the growth is to be normal and wholesome. Sporadic looking means imperfect development. James in his Epistle (1:24) pictures the mere hearer who "beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." "But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blest in his doing." (James 1:25).
The law of environment applies to the spiritual world. Birds, butterflies, snakes, rabbits, often become like their surroundings. Nature protects from harm or equips for conflict as the case may be. The Christian is inevitably influenced by his surroundings. It is the law of life. It was the main concern of Jesus in His prayer for the disciples (John 17) that they might be in the world, but not of it. Two great laws are in conflict. The spiritual plant is brought as an exotic into an unspiritual environment. If it is left alone, disaster will come. Jesus promises to be with the disciples. lie will create a new environment "in the world, but not of it." Never alone can the work of transformation be carried on in the Christian. Never alone can the world itself be transformed. The only hope that the Christian has is to be in constant fellowship with Jesus. He must not wander from "base" as the children understand in their games. In a word, if one aims to be like God he must live with God. If he is not at all like God, he cannot help the world back to God. The Christian then is constantly drawn away from God by the very world that he is endeavoring to lead to God. The drowning man seeks to destroy his rescuer.
Will the change last? Will it be permanent? The answer of Paul is in the words "with unveiled face." The Christian has no need of a veil upon his face. Moses indeed (2 Cor. 3:7) put a veil over his face as he came down the mount that the people might not see the glory fade from his countenance. He had been upon the mount with God. He was afraid that the glory upon his face would not last. The Christian is free from that fear.
Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty or freedom from apprehension on that score. The glory remains on the face of the Christian for he is in constant fellowship with God in Christ. He continually beholds the glory. He continually reflects the glory. Thus both ideas of the word come round. He needs no veil. The change is a permanent one. It will last.
What is the destiny of the Christian? It is from "glory to glory." The best is yet ahead. We go from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from glory to glory. That is our destiny. Here is an answer to the professional "perfectionist." He is the only one who has discovered his "perfection!" The culmination is still ahead. The goal is indeed the fullness of God. Will there not be progress in heaven? Sometimes indeed a saint may be granted here a foretaste of the glory that is to be. Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration is a case in point. Stephen also "saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55). No wonder that the bystanders had already noticed that his face shone as the face of an angel (Acts 6:15). Sometimes an aged saint, a mother in Israel, has the glory of God on her face, she has looked so long upon the face of the Lord. Mont Blanc will catch the light of the sun after his light has paled from the hills, and cast it upon the country round - the glorious Alpine after-glow. I once saw this beautiful sight on Lake Geneva. It was like a glimpse of the other world.
The mirror is something to be grateful for. But for the mirror we might not see God at all. But the mirror is not like the person himself. "For now we see in a mirror darkly; but then face to face" (1 Cor. 13:12).
That will be glory for me "indeed to look upon His face," to see Jesus as He is. The Christian life thus begins with a look. The life is developed by looking at Jesus, living with Him. The consummation will come with a look. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). That is it, "We shall be like him." We are somewhat like Christ now. Then we shall have the full family likeness of the household of God. The final reason for John's faith is that "we shall see him even as he is." That is enough.
John Jasper, the famous negro preacher of Richmond, Virginia, used to tell a dream. He dreamed that he went to heaven, and sat down just inside the gate. After a while he was asked by an angel if he did not want to come up closer and see the glories of heaven. "Do you not want your golden crown, John Jasper? Do you not want your harp and your white robe?" "Oh, yes," he answered, "but not yet. Time enough for all that. But now just let me stay where I am ten thousand years and gaze and gaze and gaze at the face of Jesus."
Related Tags: sermon, lesson, Archibald Thomas Robertson